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Scotland and Ireland

My boyfriend and I are planning a European trip this fall- my first time! The Netherlands/Belgium for about 6 days total, then hopping over to see Scotland and Ireland, with final departure from Dublin. My question to y'all is: any suggestions as far as what to definitely experience/avoid in Scotland and Ireland? Caveat being we have about 8 days to do this- but some wiggle room so far! I know we want to get to see some of the distilleries in Scotland, spend some time in Dingle... For the sake of good drink and company, I'd love to visit the bar at Top of Coom, the Worlds End pub, etc. I'd love to visit some of the natural landscape offerings as well as mingle with the locals, but I'm well aware that I'll need to come back in order to 'see everything' :) Any thoughts or advice is greatly appreciated!!

Posted by
236 posts

Will you be driving or relying on public transportation? Edinburgh is an obvious base for Scotland, then you could fly to Shannon or Cork en route to Dingle. See a snippet of southwest Ireland before returning to Dublin to fly out. I'm not sure where the bars are that you listed. Having said that, 14 days to see Belgium/Netherlands/Scotland/Ireland makes my head spin. Good luck and enjoy!

Posted by
823 posts

It's my humble opinion that eight days isn't enough time to do either Scotland or Ireland justice, especially given the day lost to travel between the two countries. I would sit down and assess which country you want to visit more and then leave the other country for a later trip.

Posted by
18 posts

I agree with the post above. My sister and I did 11 days in Ireland last year and are doing 10 in Scotland in a couple of months. I'd pick one of the two and plan to go back.

Posted by
2801 posts

If you have just 2 weeks total (6 days in Netherlands & Belgium and then 8 more days with final departure out of Dublin), I'd say give yourself another day on the continent and then just choose either Scotland or Ireland for your second week.

If Scotland is your choice, you can easily fly from either Edinburgh or Glasgow to Dublin to connect with your flight home. However, make sure to allow at least 2 hours to go through USA Preclearance in the Dublin airport, better 3 hours in case your incoming flight is late. USA Preclearance in Ireland is not optional. You cannot skip it and go through customs upon arrival in the USA.

Posted by
5571 posts

I'm inclined to agree with the advice you have gotten so far. However, if you are hopelessly divided--one Irish and one Scottish--then here's a suggestion, but you have to admit that you'll likely be back to both places in later trips!

Fly from Amsterdam to Edinburgh. Spend a day exploring Edinburgh, and then head north. If you don't have a specific distillery in mind, you could go to Pitlochry and visit the two there--Blair Atholl and Eradour. Dalwhinnie is just up the rail line. While you're in Pitlochry check out the Festival Theatre and the Explorer's Garden. You could also catch the train up to Blair Castle and tour it. Take the train back to Edinburgh and catch a flight to Dublin from Edinburgh.

Of course, you can spend more time in Scotland--Inverness, Newton More, Aviemore and more....:)